Universität Wien FIND

240508 VO Anthropology of the global south (P2) (2021W)


The lecturer can invite students to a grade-relevant discussion about partial achievements. Partial achievements that are obtained by fraud or plagiarized result in the non-evaluation of the course (entry 'X' in certificate). The plagiarism software 'Turnitin' will be used for courses with continuous assessment.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


Language: English

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Update 12.01.2022: Due to the current situation the course will be held digital until the end of the semester.
Update 22.11.2021: The course will be held digital during lockdown.

Tuesday 05.10. 15:00 - 18:15 Hybride Lehre
Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock
Tuesday 12.10. 15:00 - 18:15 Hybride Lehre
Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock
Wednesday 27.10. 13:15 - 16:30 Hybride Lehre
Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock
Tuesday 09.11. 15:00 - 18:15 Hörsaal A, NIG 4.Stock
Tuesday 23.11. 15:00 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 07.12. 15:00 - 18:15 Digital
Tuesday 11.01. 15:00 - 18:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

The global south is a conceptual space comprising regions of the world that have shared experiences of exploitation, inequality, imperialism, and colonialism. However, scholars have pointed to the fluidity and instability of the concept, arguing that it is difficult to draw clear lines in a northsouth divide. Nevertheless, this contrasts with the ways in which the global south is generally understood, as a hard-geographic reality that brings up images of the absence of modernity and corruption, underdevelopment, and marginality. In this course, we will deploy ethnographic perspectives to assess and challenge these perceptions and constructions. What is the global south, and how has anthropology engaged with this geopolitical, socio-economic, and cultural formation? How have anthropologists contributed to its study? What are the theoretical debates which anthropologists have generated around what is commonly understood as global south? The course readings are centered on ethnographic approaches to key sites and dynamics of urban politics, gendered activism, and violence among others. After completing this course, students should be able to: approach the concept of the global south through a body of theories and ethnographic works; understand the global south as a broad formation while recognizing its internal diversity; develop their critical reading, analytical, and written communication skills; critically engage with the links between theoretical frameworks and the media sphere by placing the readings in a real-life context.

Assessment and permitted materials

Written exam at the end of the semester (no materials permitted)
20 January 2022
further dates
1 March 2022
1 April 2022
2 May 2022

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

For a positive grade 51 % are required 90-100 %= 177-89 %= 264-76 %= 351-63 %= 4 0-50 % = 5
Written exams will be evaluated according to the following criteria:- language and style (spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax)- formal requirements (e.g. citation, formatting)- thorough understanding of the readings discussed in class- clarity of arguments - use of the literature (choice of relevant readings, accuracy of the citations and arguments contained in the readings)- reflexivity- originality and critical thinking

Examination topics

Written examination including all course readings

Reading list

Ahmad, Tania. 2014. “Socialities of indignation: Denouncing party politics in Karachi.” Cultural Anthropology 29(2): 411–432

Allen, Lori A. 2009. “Martyr bodies in the media: Human rights, aesthetics, and the politics of immediation in the Palestinian intifada.” American Ethnologist 36(1): 161–180

Auyero, Javier. 2015. “The politics of interpersonal violence in the urban periphery.” Current Anthropology 56(S11): S169–S179

Caldeira, Teresa P.R. 2015. “Social movements, cultural production, and protests: São Paulo’s shifting political landscape.” Current Anthropology 56(11): S126-S136

Chua, Liana, and Mathur Nayanika. 2018. “Introduction: Who are ‘we’?” In Who are ‘we’? Reimagining alterity and affinity in anthropology, edited by Liana Chua and Nayanika Mathur, 1–34. New York and Oxford: Berghan Books

Ciotti, Manuela. 2012. “Resurrecting seva (social service): Dalit and low-caste women party activists as producers and consumers of political culture and practice in urban north India.” The Journal of Asian Studies 71(1): 149–170

Comaroff, Jean and John L. Comaroff. 2011. “Theory from the South: Or, how Euro-America is evolving toward Africa.” Anthropological Forum 22 (2): 113–131

Das, Veena. 2007. “The force of the local.” Life and words: Violence and the descent into the ordinary. 135-161. Berkeley: University of California Press

De Boeck, Filip. 2015. ““Poverty” and the politics of syncopation: Urban examples from Kinshasa (DR Congo).” Current Anthropology 56(11): S146–S158

Gupta, Akhil and James Ferguson. 1997. ““Beyond “culture”: Space, identity, and the politics of difference.” In Culture, power, place: Explorations in critical anthropology, edited by Akhil Gupta and James Ferguson, 33–51. Durham: Duke University Press

Holston, James. 2009. “Insurgent citizenship in an era of global urban peripheries.” City & Society 21(2): 245–267
Kerry, Chance R. 2015. ““Where there is fire, there is politics”: Ungovernability and material life in urban South Africa.” Cultural Anthropology 30(3): 394–423

Krotz Esteban. 1997. “Anthropologies of the South: Their rise, their silencing, their characteristics.” Critique of Anthropology 17(3): 237–251

Li Murray, Tania. 2019. “Politics, interrupted.” Anthropological Theory 19(1): 29–53.

Mahmood, Saba. 2005. “Introduction.” Politics of piety: The Islamic revival and the feminist subject. 1–39. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press

Middleton, Townsend. 2017. “The afterlives of a killing: Assassination, thanatos, and the body politic in South Asia.” Public Culture 30(1): 85–112
Obeid, Michelle 2011. “The “trials and errors” of politics: Municipal elections at the Lebanese border.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 34(2): 251–267

Olson, Rae Krisjon. 2013. “After the peace: The contagion of violence at the margins of the Guatemalan state.” Anthropological Quarterly 86(4): 1031–1057

Omolade, Adunbi. 2017. “The Facebook president: Oil, citizenship, and the social mediation of politics in Nigeria.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 40(2): 226–244

Phillips, Kristin D. 2010. “Pater rules best: Political kinship and party politics in Tanzania’s presidential elections.” PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review 33(1): 109–132

Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. 1995. “The primacy of the ethical: Propositions for a militant anthropology.” Current Anthropology, 36(3): 409–440

Schramm, Katharina 2005. “‘You have your own history. Keep your hands off ours!’ On being rejected in the field.” Social Anthropology 13(2): 171–183

Selka, Stephen. 2008. “The sisterhood of Boa Morte in Brazil: Harmonious mixture, black resistance, and the politics of religious practice.” Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 13(1): 79–114
Thayer, Millie 2001. “Transnational feminism: Reading Joan Scott in the Brazilian sertão.” Ethnography 2(2): 243–271

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:21